It's not as if I didn't know what I was in for. We first lived together for
almost 10 years, a fact that already had me condemned as a lunatic in
some minds. I was there when the whole homebrewing hobby was
started by a well-meaning family friend on his birthday. My beloved's
eyes widened with joy as he unwrapped the huge mysterious package
to reveal a set of white buckets, odd hoses and assorted things I still
have no clue the function of. Well-meaning, sure. It wasn't her party
dress that caught the full fury of the annual cider fermentation. I'll tell
you, the smell never fully goes away, and it really is too complex an
explanation to satisfy the people I meet at parties. It's easier to just let
them go on with the belief that I'm either soused or devoted to one of
those odd French perfumes.
S ome people think I'm nuts. I married a homebrewer. What in the world
could have possessed me to happily scamper down the aisle and into the
forever loving arms of a man whose bubbling, blobbing, odd-smelling hobby has
severely cut down on my personal closet space and contributed to what some of
my friends call "aroma couture"?
By Diana Davis
Illustration by Mike Moran
I remember the premier brew well. He put
pineapple guavas in it. We all learn some
of the best lessons the hard way, I guess. It
was an interesting beer, and I say "inter-
esting" in the same spirit here as someone
who can't think of anything nice to say.
Thank goodness he never did it again.
The pineapple guava recipe went out the
window, but enthusiasm didn't. Ha!
Enthusiasm couldn't reach the window!
It'd have to climb over carboys, chillers,
fermenters, secondary fermenters, spoons,
skimmers, cappers, endless boxes of
brown bottles, bags of caps, kegs, CO2
tanks, hoses, pipes, fittings, sanitizing sup-
plies, huge pots and blow-off tubes. How
can we have four beers, an ale, cider and
mead fermenting amid my shoes, dresses,
blouses and gowns when all the equip-
ment is out here?
The mishaps and sacrifices have been
many, but at